Russia Says NATO Exercises in Georgia Could Destabilize Caucasus

MOSCOW - Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday released a statement saying the Kremlin considers upcoming joint military exercises by the US, UK and Georgia to be a highly provocative step that could destabilize the security situation in the Caucasus region.

Moscow accused the NATO members of catering to “the revanchist aspirations of Tbilisi” for having agreed to take part in the exercises.

“Georgia’s Parliamentary Chair, Davit Usupashvili, confirmed in his statement when he claimed that part of the country’s territories are under so-called occupation and the mission of the Georgian armed forces remains unfulfilled until those regions are reclaimed,” the Russian Foreign Ministry’s statement said. “Usupashvili praised not only the heroism of Georgia's military but also their NATO allies, “ the statement reads.

The joint exercises – code-named Noble Partner – are annual combat-ready drills that first held in 2015. This year’s large-scale exercises will take place on May 11-26.

500 Georgian, 150 United Kingdom and 650 US military service members who are incorporating a full range of equipment, including the US’ M1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and C-130 “Hercules” aircraft will take part in the exercises.

By Tamar Svanidze
Edited by Nicholas Waller

07 May 2016 09:39